Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States. The common causes of slip and fall accidents are spills, freshly mopped floors, electrical cords, rugs, lack of handrails, clutter and debris, poor lighting, standing water, and wet or damaged stairs and walkways — often resulting from the negligence of others who have a duty to keep areas safe.
If you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident, you may deserve financial compensation. But you need to do the right things to win your claim. How do you know what to do after a slip and fall accident? After all, no one knows that they’re going to get hurt in a trip and fall accident until the moment it happens. Here’s what our slip and fall attorneys say to do after an accident.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Here’s what to do after a slip and fall accident:
DO – Seek immediate medical attention – If anyone has a serious or even significant injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Urgent medical care is critical to your well being. It also establishes the date and time that the accident occurred. For your slip and fall claim, medical attention ensures that you’re able to link the accident with your injuries.
DON’T – Make statements that make you seem at fault – Now is not the time to say that you’re sorry or make any other indication that you’re at fault for the accident. Even if you’re just trying to be polite, the other side can use what you say against you. In the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, you may not have clarity about the events. In addition, there may be a big difference between legal fault and what might seem like fault to a person without legal training. The best bet right after the slip and fall is just to gather evidence and get the medical help that you need.
DO – File an accident report – You should file a police report if it’s appropriate. In addition, you should report the accident to the property owner before you leave the premises. Even if the property owner says an oral report is good enough, ask them if there’s a form for you to make a written report. Get a copy of the report that you submit. If they won’t give you a copy, take a photo of the report with your phone.
DON’T – Sign anything – Don’t put your signature on anything before you talk to a lawyer. Property or business owners may want you to release liability without giving you the chance to speak to legal counsel. They may not be truthful with you about what you’re signing. The best option is to avoid signing anything until an experienced slip and fall lawyer can review your claim.
DO – Take photos of the scene – The moment the accident occurs may be your only opportunity to examine the accident scene just as it is at the time of the slip and fall. A photo can be compelling evidence of dangerous conditions that may have caused the accident. Hazards like cracked pavement, a torn rug, items in the way or other unsafe conditions can be valuable proof of the negligence of the property owner.
DO – Get contact information for witnesses at the scene – If anyone saw the accident, they may be a valuable witness for you. You can’t count on the property owner to find witnesses and get their contact information. Ask each witness for their name, address, and phone number. You can ask them for a brief statement of what they saw, but you can interview them in detail later.
DON’T – Talk about it on social media – Even though social media is a common way to reach out to friends and family for support, it’s critical to avoid posting about your accident on social media. Just like the things you say to the other side are admissible in court, the things you post on social media are admissible, too. Social media posts are admissible even if you set the post on friends-only status. It’s important not to talk about the slip and fall accident on social media.
DO – Follow treatment recommendations – An essential part of winning the compensation that you deserve after a slip and fall is showing the jury that you’re serious about your recovery. As an accident victim, you have a duty to mitigate damages. That just means that it’s up to you not to make the situation worse than it already is. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for medical care and be sure to attend all follow-up appointments.
DON’T – Assume that you’ll remember later – When things are fresh in your mind, you might assume that you can remember all of the details of the accident later on. You might make the same assumptions about the dates of your medical treatment and the type of treatment that you receive. But it’s important to write things down. Keep a log of your medical treatment and document all of your injury-related expenses. Write anything down that you might want to remember later on.
DO – Speak with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible – It takes evidence to win cases. The sooner you begin to build your case, the stronger the evidence is going to be. When you work with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney, they set to work right away, contacting witnesses, gathering the evidence, and preparing your claim. They can work with you on a personal level to make sure that you do the things that you need to do to win fair compensation for your claim.
Colorado Slip and Fall Laws
In Colorado, the main question with any slip and fall case is the duty of care owed to an injured person. If a person is invited, directly or indirectly, to a commercial property such as a store or a restaurant, the owner, occupant or lessor of that space is responsible for exercising reasonable care to the person. The invited person is called the “invitee.”
Individuals who enter a property for their own benefit, such as a houseguest to a friend’s home, are known as a “licensee.” A property owner owes a licensee a duty of care to prevent potential foreseeable danger on their property. And in some cases, even trespassers can hold a property owner liable if a known dangerous condition is present at the time the trespasser enters the property.
How Long Do You Have to Go to the Doctor After a Slip and Fall in Colorado?
You can go to the doctor at any time after a slip and fall in Colorado. However, the sooner you go to the doctor, the better. A doctor can help you get started on the path to recovery. They can take immediate action that prevents your condition from worsening. However, you may not realize that you have injuries until some time after the car accident. In that case, it’s never too late to seek the help that you need. Ultimately, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall in Colorado.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can You Sue in Colorado?
You can sue for up to two years after a slip and fall in Colorado. The deadline is two years from the date the accident occurs. Even if the deadline is approaching, you can pursue your claim in full if you meet the deadline by even one day. If your claim is against a government entity, how long after a slip and fall you can sue in Colorado may be much shorter. An experienced attorney can help you determine the time limit in your case.
Contact Our Colorado Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident, contact a knowledgeable Colorado slip and fall lawyer who can evaluate your case and get the recovery you deserve. The experienced Bachus & Schanker, LLC injury attorneys want to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.